FOUNDATION NETWORKS AND DEVELOPMENT - FUNREDES
What's REALLY new in FUNREDES
(January - October 1998)
Reminder: The Situation in January
In January, we released a "what's new". Without any doubt, the main piece of news was the announcement according to which we were going to freeze our site in order to offer you, in springtime, a new version in which the following modifications were planned:
- "a better aesthetic of the site with more graphics, correction of the typing mistakes and a friendly frame version
- the copy of all the documents accessed by gopher in HTML format (and the freeze of the gopher)
- a revised overall structure and an enhanced path flow.
- ... and much more".
Failure and Explanations
We were not able to stick to our plan, and we would like to apologize to you. The lack of human resources was the principal cause.
What have we done since January?
Converting all the documents of the Gopher into HTML format has been a very heavy work, which was patiently carried out by Amauris Espinal. It still needs to be finalized, but you may already wish to have a look at it, at: http://funredes.org/gopher.
As far as the other parts of the workplan are concerned, the first internal documents have been produced, but the working process has not been followed. The main two reasons why that happened are: some more or less predictable changes of personnel, and other projects which have reached various degrees of realization.
Comparing with last January, three people remain in Funredes :
- Amauris Espinal, the young Dominican who was then a trainee from the UASD and who is today the person in charge of the computer department
- Catherine Dhaussy, who keeps on working as a project manager
- Daniel Pimienta, still president and director of Funredes
These people had to leave:
- Gustavo Cápiro, whose contract as a cooperation intern expired at the end of March
- Marc Cassuto, for personal reasons
Various Dominican trainees have worked since January in Funredes, as well as a young French MBA student, Éric Quintane, who came late July to work as a voluntary during one month and half. He designed a new brochure for our NGO.
Finally, two youngsters arrived some time ago:
- Keysi Guerrero, a student from the UASD, who shares her activities between a position of secretary and the computer department. Working part-time in July and August, this Dominican young lady has been employed full-time since the beginning of September.
- Francisco McDugall, a Canadian intern whose speciality is Web designing. He arrived in September for 6 months, and he is a ressource from the IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development).
Our Other Activities
Running an NGO being what it is (see, in Spanish, the information relative to our budget, in the version we released last January), we have, since the beginning of year, chosen to give the priority to projects likely to provide us with some funds - the answer to various calls for proposals being as important as the realization of financed projects. The achievements are:
- the realization and hosting on our server of the site dedicated to the International Conference on the water which was held in Beirut (Lebanon) from June 18 to June 20. The conference was devoted to the international law and comparative law on international watercourses, and to the education for a culture of water sharing and protection
- a new and improved version of the study on the Latin languages and cultures on the Internet; this was a cooperative work, done with the Agence de la Francophonie and the Latin Union
- within the framework of CARIBCAD, a project financed by the European Union, we have realized and we still maintain a public Web site, as well as a private one; the opening and the management of the mailing lists allowing a good communication flow among the various partners have also been part of our work
- the realization of a new paper brochure to present Funredes
- the training to the methods of the Internet and the information society of the members of the organization Mujer y Salud, an NGO which is devoted to women health in the countryside
As far as the individuals of Funredes are concerned, and not to the team as a whole, Daniel Pimienta worked as a consultant for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Zimbabwe. His mission there, during the month of March, dealed with the regulation on the Internet. A workshop was organized as well, on the basis of the Internet seminars of Funredes.
Also, we have been pleased to host on our server the Web site corresponding to the final project of a former trainee of Funredes, a young computer student of the UASD, Wilson Taveras. With his project team, he created this summer a site devoted to Mao, his birthplace, located in the Northern part of the country.
As far as the formulated projects are concerned:
- the answer to the call for abstracts, then to the call for proposals by the AUPELF for the French-speaking virtual University: in August, Funredes presented two projects, BDD-CARIOCI (a Web-based referential database of the Caribbean and Indian Ocean on the Internet) and CASAC (Campus, amphitheatre and virtual classroom: how to recreate a campus on the Internet by the means of mailing lists)
- the response to the call for proposals by the Agence de la Francophonie: in July, three projects were formulated and presented to the Francophone Funds for the Infohighways: REFIC (Reinforcement of the French-speaking space on the noncommercial Caribbean Internet, in cooperation with enda caribe), MAFIL (Automatic measurement of the French-speaking space on the Internet - language), to make a follow-up study concerning the Latin languages on the Internet, and MAFIC (Automatic measurement of the French-speaking space on the Internet - culture), for the creation of a scientific method of measurement of Latin cultures on the net.
We have recently signed three projects:
In addition, Funredes has kept on ensuring its role of research, and its
members took part in several conferences and seminars, remotely or physically; among the later ones:
It is also necessary to note here the participation of Amauris Espinal in the workshop WALC98, organized in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) as a pre-activity of INET'98. This training was made possible thanks to a grant by the Internet Society, who organized this workshop.
Research and publications
In addition, the role of our NGO is not only to act directly, but also to do some research and to publish; Daniel Pimienta has published this year an article entitled "Efficient Multilingual Electronic Conferences for Congress Follow-up, Virtual University, and participative democraty", for the International Congress on Water held in Beirut (Lebanon) from June 18 to June 20.
Within another framework of publication, we have sent this year three proposals for the conference INET'99 organized by the Internet Society, on various topics:
- needs for users training
- the place of languages and cultures on the Internet
- the management of multilingual electronic conferences, and remote participation
Others (or: "A couple of other situations that take time...")
Two events have occurred in the past six months, which are distincts by nature but which both have had an impact on Funredes:
- in May, Catherine Dhaussy was elected to the Board of Trustees of the French Chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC-France). She was voted vice-president of the association during the first meeting
- on September 22, the hurricane known as "George" hit the Dominican Republic. The office of Funredes was not too much damaged, but the entire country has suffered a lot. Funredes sent to several electronic conferences a message to give to each one the possibility to contribute directly in order to help the victims.
And now, that are we going to do? Are we going, once again, to build plans which fail, and never going to present you a "new Funredes"? Not at all! We have taken a series of good resolutions, to which we will try to stick:
- availability of the personnel implied in the new release of the site: Catherine Dhaussy for the architecture and the structure, Francisco McDugall for the graphic work, both were spared the other heavy tasks, and will then be able, from now on, to devote their time to this Web site. They will be punctually helped by their colleagues, who are less especially assigned to the site.
- a realistic schedule in several progressive stages:
- a new "what's up in Funredes" in French, Spanish, and English
- an update of the documents which are definitely out of date, and additions of missing documents
- a minimal improvement of the presentation of the documents, spelling included, and a basic harmonization
- the implementation of a graphic model and a modification of the esthetics of the pages
- the reorganization of the site, its architecture, the way to navigate, etc.
- and so forth...
In comparison with the previous workplan, we have brought several innovations:
- better availability of the people directly implied in the process
- no "freezing" of the site: it will keep on developing during the duration of the works, with an update which, on the first stage of the process, will be done at least on a weekly basis
- successive steps and stages: we work on a... site open to the public, and everyone will be able to observe the improvements, week after week
- abandonment of the long-term plans: the objectives do exist for the middle and the long terms, but we have identified the first necessities and defined the first workplan for a three month period
We thus hope to be able to present you a first "new version" of the site at the end of December. The work on the very structure should begin in January 1999.
Thank you to follow us in our process. Please feel free to send to us your comments on the site, its improvements, its possible problems, etc., directly at Catherine Dhaussy: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
|Copyright © 1995-1998 FUNREDES
|| created: 29 Oct. 1998
||latest modification : 2 Nov. 1998|